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How can I keep my kids healthy during Halloween?

Molly Morgan
Nutrition & Dietetics
Thinking of it as a balancing act! Work in plenty of physical activity and balance out all of the sweets with plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains! Then after the 'big day' make a candy plan, like one or two pieces per day and stick to it! Also moving the candy out of sight works really well... we put ours in a ceramic bowl on the top shelf of the cupboard, before you know the kids stop asking for it!! Out of sight... out of mind!
Keeping kids healthy during Halloween can be a challenge. However, having healthier alternatives to the typical Halloween treats can help. There are low-sugar and sugar-free alternatives, but also think outside the box and consider dried fruits and trail mixes. And keep in mind that kids should carry flashlights and always have adult supervision when trick-or-treating. You should also consider other activities to do with your kids during this holiday, like building a scarecrow, decorating your yard, making costumes, and hunting for that perfect pumpkin at your local pumpkin patch.
Brooke Randolph
Marriage & Family Therapy
You are working hard to minimize your intake of sugar and processed foods, but you don't want your children to miss out on the fun of Halloween and dressing up and trick or treating. Maybe you want to minimize the sugar and processed food your children eat and teach them healthy eating habits. What are you going to do with all that Halloween candy?!?

You could simply throw it out, but you risk complaints from the kids. Plus, what are you teaching them other than denying them indulgence? You could hide it in that cabinet above the refrigerator, hoping the kids (and you) forget about it -- but will that work?

Don't surrender to sugar intoxication. Halloween is just the start of the holiday season, where temptation after temptation is calling for you to break your food plan and overindulge. Start the holiday season on the right foot and find a creative way to get rid of the candy.
  • Reverse Trick or Treating -- This suggestion was inspired by another Indianapolis therapist. Get at least one more use out of that costume; let your children dress up again after school and deliver candy to others -- all treats, no tricks. Your children will learn the joy of giving to others and you get rid of the candy. Consider treating teachers, caregivers, your pediatrician, home-bound neighbors, or empty-nesting family members.
  • Candy Currency -- Turn the candy into a currency that your kids can use to purchase privileges or pay fines for breaking the rules. Privileges for purchase will have to offer more pleasure than the candy for this to work. To truly teach the value of quality food over junk food, pick up some Scarrots and let them be worth ten times more than any single serving of processed candy.
  • Care Packages -- A local dentist is collecting candy to save kids' teeth and is sending it to soldiers serving overseas. This is another way to teach your children the joy of giving to others. Pack up all the candy to send to soldiers, orphans, or far away relatives.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.